Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Isra Wa Mi3raj holiday


It's been passed onto me, that Saturday would be a holiday for the Islamic celebration of the Prophet's Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) Ascending & Descending from Earth to the high Heavens and vice versa.

May this holiday leave a holy mark in our hearts and cleanse our souls from the petty world that we live in, inshallah.

In case such a holiday comes to the surface, I wish everyone a great holiday.
Peace.

do you remember... the future?


The DeLorean cars are making a comeback after their spotlight attention in the Back To The Future trilogy of films.

Read on here.

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Links:

- DeLorean being brought back from the future?

- Los Angeles Times: For the DeLorean, it's back to the present

- DeLoreans make a comeback

Monday, July 30, 2007

newly bought books



Although I am no avid reader to books and novels ever since my break up with them when I was in the UK, I do have a tendency to buy - between now and then - a few good stories that people would recommend to me or rather keep talking about until I find it in myself that I have a yearning to find out just what it is that makes them so fond of such a story.

In this context, I went out yesterday to the Family Bookshop here in MQ and bought two books by Paul Coelho. The first being the infamous 'The Alchemist'; and the second, titled 'The Zahir'.

I read a few lines of each book and found them to be gripping me to read more, so I decided upon then to purchase them. I have yet, though, to find out, what they are both about. But something tells me that they are going to be nothing short of an illustrious imaginary journey between the reality I live in to the wells and the depths of the deepest oceans of the soul.

37 years in the making

It's been reported in the Oman Tribune that:

The Ministry of Regional Municipalities, Environment and Water Resources is carrying out a comprehensive study to assess hazards of flooding in the areas affected by the recent unusual weather conditions in order to identify the natural and unnatural reasons which caused the flooding and to find solutions to avoid such damage in future.

So, in actuality, this study took 37 years to be realized in necessity when the government gave out land properties to the citizens in wadi streams and after such immense damage was done throughout the years that the Sultanate had a large amount of rainfalls in?

Wow.

And I thought I was slow.

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Link:

- Flood causes to be studied

hi ho, hi ho..


Ok.

So, today was my first day back to college and resuming my insurance course.

And boy, was it ever so boring.

We had to endure 4 whole hours - seperately - of indemnity, excess and subrogation.

And God help me if I understood any word we took today because all I could ever hear was 'blah, blah, blah, blah..'.

Per Your Request had asked me to report in about what we took on everyday at the course and to ask if there was anything that I never understood. I am turning the question on him now to answer on those three topics.

man's nature for more

What is it about the nature of mankind that pushes him to yearn for more? More power, more wealth, more health, more of everything almost that he could get his hands over.

Over the years and centuries of time, mankind has waged wars against other civilizations in the name of 'humanity', 'religion' and 'honor' of a nation but most wars that have been raged upon civilized countries, groups of culture and continents alike, have all had a mystical cause behind it.

The power that man looks for to have more grasp, to hold something in their name. To change the world as they please and should anyone choose to do so, then it is a death sentence against him and his world that he has known for some time.

We yearn for more health (never to die), for more wealth (more money power), more ownership. S

So, in reality, the human being wants to become immortal in all he senses. But in these disadvantages, there are advantages that bring us to realize that with everything that is being realize that the power also pushes them to aspire and become better at what they can do so well.

So, in short, it is the ultimate person immortality tool in addition to the

Sunday, July 29, 2007

stop wondering & start realizing


Many a time it has been that I have sat and wondered 'what if' and 'why not' when I was in my younger days. But the days of wonder have passed by and come to a stop. A new phase in my life starts now whereby I take in what is around me, what surrounds me, what grips me at the edge and start realizing that what needs to be done must be applied instead of having to wonder about it for days at a time.

It's a time for me take some heartfelt decisions and prepare for the consequences that follow.

This is a phase of where most of us choose to ignore by simply following half the structure through realization but forgetting about application of the method. A person such as that can only start to imagine the suffering that they would through in the future.

That alone is cause for a progress in their routine-life-cycle.

Rush Hour 3


It is fairly dissapointing to see that the Shatti Plaza cinema here in Muscat has chosen to 'low level' movies as opposed to viewing the much anctipated Rush Hour franchise in it's 2nd sequel: Rush Hour 3.

They chose to pay a handsome amount of money to view other movies before their worldwide debut such as Live Free or Die Hard; Spiderman 3 amongst the top 'blockbusters' of this past summer. But what baffles me is that they cannot do this for a number of other movies, considered to be in the top list of movie-goers here in Oman.

I guess that's the strategy of a monopoly; give them what you think they want and if they don't like it they can always wait for the DVD.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

will the real idiot please stand up?


Here's an open letter to the fine motorists that ride the Omani 'freeway' system:

Stop slowing down in the middle of the fast lane just to see that policeman fine a speeder, or a person trying to change his car tire. It is getting on everyone's nerves and you're the reason why everyone is late to the place they want to get to in the middle of the day.

one of those days

I would have loved to have posted about my experience on resuming the insurance course back here at the College of Banking and Financial Studies. But, as it happens - fate had it's other plans for me.

I was staying over at my relative's place just having fun, and as the hours passed by, time came upon me to bid farewell and go back where I belong. As I came walking down the stairs, I was approaching an edge that I hadn't noticed. I slipped, and fell down the remaining stairs.

I had to be taken to the hospital because the pain was too much, and after x-rays were done, it turned that - Thank God - I had no broken bones, just some very major bruises that would take their own sweet time to heal.

So I ended up staying over at my relative's place for the night and missing out on the first day of resuming college.

Friday, July 27, 2007

tomorrow, tomorrow


Tomorrow is the day we resume our Insurance course at the College of Banking & Financial Studies.

I hate it, but someone has to do the dirty job, I guess.

Maybe it'll be a bit better this time around.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

postively contradictory


I have no references to this information except the Internet and I can't seem to find the pages where I got it from, so all those who are about to debate with me - please forgive me.

I had read sometime - not too long ago - that the financial status of the country is positive during May and June. Although, at the same time, the Central Bank of Oman - CBO - issued a statement saying that the level of inflation in Oman had reached 3.2%. Whereas the level of inflation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is 2.6%.

How is it possible to give out such a positive and contradictory statement about the economy is beyond me. Especially after the blow of a disaster such as Gonu.

Does anyone have an explanation?

Scrat in New York

Scrat from Ice Age up to his little misfits in trying to find the perfect spot to bury his treasurable acorn.

the third book

I'm being constantly asked about my third book ever since I had reached out to the Ministry of Heritage to give them a few copies of my last two books for them to sell off to the Indian public in an organized visit by them to help and encourage Omani English Language writers to write more.

I honestly don't have a final answer as to how long it will take to finish this one off, but I will say that I will take my time on it. I want to develop it further than what the first two had achieved in their little popularity in the local market.

You can still find copies of the first two books at both the Family Bookshop & The Turtle's Bookshop. If you can't, then please let me know and I will personally deliver them to you - inside or outside the country.

Thanks to everyone who is asking.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ramadhan approaches..


Around September 14th, 2007, the Sultanate of Oman will be embracing the holy spirit of Ramadhan. The month of which the Qur'an was bestowed upon our Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and from him to the world of Islam.

I am hoping that this year would be a lot different; that it would promise that this nation can aspire a great many heights to where it should be. That it would stop the clash of civilizations that is looming upon us all. That it would also stop people in their steps only to look around and appreciate what is being given to them and give back through doing good deeds, and praying to the Almighty Allah.

I hope this year, we can all breath the clean air of spirituality and truly say from our hearts: Ramadhan Kareem.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Fresh Prince of Bel Air - Bloopers

first Omani 'online' quiz


A first of it's kind - Omani 'online' quiz - has been conjured up by an Omani national as part of the ongoing celebration of the 37th Rennaisance that the country is currently celebrating this year.

Its based upon a number of facts that you have to look up in predefined books and if you win, you get to win several prizes from cash to other accessories and mobile systems & the such.

The quiz is open for all nationalities who reside within the Sultanate of Oman only. The questions are all in the Arabic language and so is the website.

To check out the website, click here.

The Butterfly Effect 2


I find the Hollywood urge to make sequels out of epic movies simply ineffective. I mean, The Butterfly Effect (part 1) was a good concept for a movie but it ended there and then. So why should there be a need to make a sequel?

Unfortunately for us in Oman, this movie was released a long time back (I think early 2006) and it's been screened now in our cinema theatres.

The Butterfly Effect 2 holds the same concept but about a couple of teenagers other than Ashton Kutcher (Punk'd & That 70s Show).

The movie will be released at Shatti Plaza this Wednesday, 25th July, 2007.

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Link: - The Butterfly Effect 2 official website

Monday, July 23, 2007

TimesofOman.com: This is the world we live in

Below is the new article for this season that has been published under my name on the TimesofOman.com website.

Leave comments if you wish..

------------------------

Unfortunately, the time has come for us to think more and more about our actions and what we say and do behind the walls and doors of our own private courts, simply because the world we now live in is no longer the world we recognize.

I know that most of you who read these words would have some kind of questionable look on your faces because of that comment only because I wrote not too long ago on this very column about me and my philosophical look towards the world we live in by saying that 'the world we live in has not changed, it us who have changed because we are more aware of it now". And that statement stands true today as it stood on that day.

It is because we so much aware of what goes in our lives and the world that surrounds us that we fear the inevitable. The fear of having to come face to face with what we have to in the future –– near or far. Thus us trying in every way possible to push it further away.

Some of us take up a hobby to pass the time so as not to think about it. Others enjoy writing on what is on their minds contemplating the troubles that they would have to face in order to find out some sort of solution in the exercise to put at ease the mind's troubles. Others just think on and on and do nothing whatsoever.

No matter what the issue is here, you would rather see yourself running away than looking at the problem eye to eye. Even though you work on the issues that do run in your way, you still end up escaping from the reality that you yourself are trying to get away from.

Look at it this way, you get a job and you start having no time at all for things you want to get focused on. Let's say some rest, some food, some love (the clean type). You end up trying to make some more time in order for yourself to have an escape route show itself in your path so you can route for it at the nearest possibility. That's escapology.

The ill choices conceived by the human mind are the cause of this mental mayhem. They push us to make the mistakes that we wished we never would do. They ask us to do what we said we would never attempt to do unless there was no option. The economy that we live in expects us to be a part of the producing clan. The one who can rise up at 6am come back at 7pm with no complain whatsoever. It expects us to be robots. The type that would push on further and further and always asking for more. Something more of a dream; is it not?

The power to fulfill one's needs is to attain the ability to move in the right direction otherwise your whole mind, body and entire soul might push you to hallucinations, doldrums, and illusions that you are living 'the dream of your life'. Which you are truly not.

The ill choices that we conceive as human beings must be rectified. The expectations that we choose should be our own and not the society's. Not the family's. Not the world's. It should be our own little 'gem'.

Because, in the end, who are we really doing it all for?

Us.

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Link:

- TimesofOman.com: This is the world we live in

Little Tortilla Boy - Pablo Francisco



This man was featured on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.

He's really funny, although, this video is the only one I could find for him online, the other ones are blocked by Oman-God damn them-Tel, because they are published on metacafe.

For more information about Pablo Francisco, you can check him out on his website.

Rennaisance Day - part 2

Happy holiday!


My guess is that almost every business that can afford to take a day off on an occasion such as this is closed. So, I guess my point in this post to everyone who is rather pissed off at that situation is to just enjoy the one-day-holiday; even though it's not much.

It beats not getting anything at all..

this Saturday


This Saturday - 28/7/2007 - I am going to be resuming my insurance course at the College of Banking & Financial Studies.

Although this wasn't exactly what I wanted nor is it nearly as exciting as my bachelors degree in Business Administration that I graduated with back in 2001. Still, it's the least I can do with what I have to offer in such circumstances.

After all, wishing will get me nowhere and we all have to make do with what we have.

Right?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Lockerbie


The whole world has probably been at their TV sets with the previous ongoing attention diverted towards the infiltrators who carried out the bombing of a Pan American flight by two Libyan terrorists.

By the end of the said trial, one was convicted with life imprisonment and the other was freed due to lack of sufficient evidence to acquit him. Libya, as a country, also suffered from this disaster due to global isolation by world countries. But the country survived through its own resources.

When the verdict was announced by an international jury, the world was frustrated. It wasn't satisfied with the verdict carried out by the international court, the Libyans probably didn't believe that two of their own could carry out such a drastic measure upon innocent lives who were only on that plane to carry out their peaceful 'business'.

Then after the sanctions were lifted, therein rose another dilemma. The matter of 5 doctors - all of which were Portuguese, except for one, who was Palestinian who had infected 500 young children with the A.I.D.S. virus on purpose.

The European Union interfered along with the USA demanding that the doctors be released immediately because they were going to be put to death under Libyan law because of their unlawful act.

After long negotiations, the EU agreed to pay the sum of 1 million US Dollars to every family of the child who had been infected by the virus in order to free the medical staff from the punishment.

What seems to be ironic here is the matter of how the EU and the USA degrade our laws just to benefit their citizens but when it came to their own dying they wouldn't stand for less than the most extreme punishment western civilization abides by. And another thing is the fact that the wrong message is carried out by different people in the Libyan society because of them accepting to be paid up this much an amount for their child's eternal sickness.

It just doesn't add up.

It simply isn't fair at all.

are you into Internet radio?


A recent move by the R.I.A.A. (Recording Industry Association of America) has now announced that it is asking internet audio webcasters to initiate DRM (Digital Rights Management) technology on all their webcasts on the 'net.

The move is said to counter a potential danger of robbing internet webcasters of their hard-earned cash - supposedly.

To read more on the story, click here.

Ping Pong - Matrix style

Absolutely hilarious!!

and the season has just started


It's been said that the Salalah Kahreef Festival 2007 is one of the most successful festivals that the Sultanate of Oman has ever operated. It's not known what type of information nor data does this statement base itself upon.

But therein arises the first ever complaint of the festival's transportation pricing.

I had read earlier today in one of the Arabic language local newspapers that a certain number of bus companies that operate within the bounds of the Sultanate of Oman's borders have raised the bus ticket prices from 5 Riyals to 7 Riyals.

An excerpt that I remember reading of an interview quotes one of the bus company owners stating that the raise came in due to the high demand for the Salalah line only.

Unfortunately, due to my ignorance, I only know of one bus company - the Oman National Transportation Company - that goes by such lines. Feel free to inform me otherwise.

The main point of raising this matter is because I want to highlight the fact that the transportation industry, even if it were in a competition against other competitors then it should consider competitive pricing against its rivals in order to gain a bigger customer base. So the companies that claim such a thing have no right in my opinion because at the rate of 5 Riyals they still get a bigger profit margin with that line. In fact, they should operate more buses on that route.

Feel free to post your comment in order to debate.

this'll be one long year

So, Dubai's trip is pretty much cancelled because I have some things that would need my undivided attention at home and at the hospital.

So it would only be until sometime around January 2008 - probably - that I get a proper full month's vacation. And this time I am going to save for it. No one's going to do anything for me even though I have become immensely busy so I guess I have to prepare for everything myself.

This is definitely going to be one long year..

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Axis of Evil - Comedy



This line of Middle Eastern comedians are basically all in it to confront the West in their 'hood' about stereotyping and the such by using comedy to break the ice and to also carry in the Middle Eastern culture and what the Arab youth think to the Western civilization.

Their tour can seen through a special DVD that's being sold by the same name.

To find more about them, you can check out their website here.

I cannot come to posting one of their videos from YouTube because of the profanity used in the language. However, if you are interested, just go to YouTube and search for 'Axis of Evil'.

Enjoy!

TimesofOman.com & Horizon

So - yes - I have been pretty much M.I.A. (Missing In Action) in both the TimesofOman.com and the Horizon newsletter from the Sultan Qaboos University.

The TimesofOman.com seems to have it's own issues and although I was told that my articles would be published every fortnight of a month, there still seems to be something stopping the folks to adhere to their own rules.

As far as the Horizon goes, there should be an article out by the end of this month and another by the end of August. From thereon, it would be back to sending articles on a 10-day-basis.

Just thought I would clear that up for the people who think that I have given up writing good pieces on my blog or otherwise.

beauty & the beast

This is the 2004 W12 Volgswagen Touareg


So Virgos are a bit too ambitious out of their capacity.

There's still hope, isn't there?

Sleepless In... Dubai?


Since everyone I know is off on a summer holiday, and my insurance course resuming on the 28th of this month, there could be a slight possibility that I would be heading off with a relative of mine to Dubai for a few days.

It's been quite a while since I've been there, and I am not anticipating the road trip to there because I am such a tall person plus the fact that the traffic is absolutely hideous in Dubai with all the development projects that are going on such as the Metro, the Subway and more expansion of the road systems.

I don't think I would be able to blog from there if I do end up going which could be around Sunday (the day after tomorrow - sounds like a movie title).

Thursday, July 19, 2007

theory to mystery

We all know how bad natural disasters have affected various tourist spots around the world, and even along that, the affect of other man made crimes on famous cities the world over. But howcome is it, that when such disasters or epidemics happen in such spots that after a while, you see a large increase in tourist flow into that very spot?

9/11 didn't deter people from coming over to the United States, and I don't know whether it had an affect on increasing the number of tourists coming over, but facts remain that it just didn't stop people from coming into the US.

You may also remember that last Tsunami that happened on the South-Eastern coast in places like India, Thailand, and Malaysia. Bali was one of the tourist spots that got hit by the Tsunami, and even after several years, there is an increase in the number of tourists flocking in.

Lately, the Sultanate of Oman had faced severe weather conditions because of the Gonu cyclone that had approached its shores. Oman had faced torrential rains and fierce winds like no other time in its past history. Disaster had spread the Muscat and Sharqiyah regions along with the recent heavy weather conditions that had hit Salalah (that were not part of the Gonu cyclone effect).

This has - however - not stopped tourists from wanting to come and explore the Sultanate especially with tour operators claiming 80% occupancy levels.

So the question is, here, what is the secret behind this sudden burst of tourist flow after such calamities? Shouldn't it push tourists away (i.e.: the circumstances)?

If there are any theories to these incidents, then share them here.

I'm So Sorry

I'm so sorry I am
I'm so sorry I am
I'm so sorry I am

I'm so sorry I am
Who I am now
I'm sorry that I am
Not who you want me to be

I'm so sorry that I was your one and only
I'm so sorry that I can't fulfill your dreams

Let me cry over this
Let me die in my bliss
Let me breath in the air that surrounds
This place, the compound

Let me look at this sight
One last time
Let me try to see
What I had in mind

Let me try to close my eyes
And imagine the sun setting down
Let my soul fly away
Let my feet never touch the ground

I'm so sorry I am
Who I am now
I'm so sorry I am
Not who you want me to be

Rennaisance holiday


It has been announced that Monday will be a public holiday for both the public & private sector on the occasion of celebrating the renaissance of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said - the Sultan of Oman.

This would mean that both the public and the private sector both have Monday the 23rd of July, 2007 off as a holiday to come back to work on the 24th of July, 2007.

Congratulations to every Omani out there..

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Gonu Relief Blog: Withdrawl

I have finally taken the step to step away from the Gonu Relief Blog.

The blog already has enough administrators and people who are far more interested into carrying out the interests of the blog than I.

I apologize if this decision inconveniences anyone due to the surprise action taken by henceforth.

Thank you all for your wide appreciation towards the blog's goals; should there be any questions or queries regarding the blog please address them to the blog's current administrators.

Thanks again..

suicidal mission update

I could stand here talking all about philosophy and the wonders that it holds in terms of legends and myths that had once ruled the Earth a great many centuries ago. I could state how technology turned all that inside out and helped us understand our lives a lot better.

But I cannot stand here and lie to myself saying that I am feeling alright just to pretend and help myself feel better because it simply is not true. I gather from everyone that passes by my blog that they'd like to read the contents but would rather not comment because they cannot help me nor can they add anything to the subject at matter.

Which would only conclude to one solution: to move on.

I may be trying, but it seems I am not trying hard enough. I am attempting but my attempts are far fetched from reality.

It's all beginning to affect my life and my direct environment. I cannot sustain the impact it has on me any longer. I feel like I want to run away, but that would be a coward's decision. I should be confronting my problems, but how can you confront the world?

A suicidal mission has only two options: to succeed or to fail - I am at neither.

The furthest one can only hope for, is for hope to lend a rope.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

plain Potty


So are you going to see tomorrow's Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix?

If so, tell us how your experience was watching the childlike fantasy for the xth time..

Monday, July 16, 2007

ReBlog: Sex & Dubai - Unblock the blog

Following up the incident when Etisalat had banned the blog Sex & Dubai, the girls behind the blog have come back from the vacation and have something to say about the blocking of their blog.

On both UAE Community Blog and Sex & Dubai, they have both posted what was deemed a fight for the right to stay alive. As the girls go on to say:

With promiscuous behavior rampant and in plain view in Dubai, it's a sad state of affairs when the Government would rather clean up the blogosphere instead of the city's streets.

The girls have asked that everyone chip in to help them in their little predicament by emailing one of the following UAE dailies and asking the editors of the said dailies to highlight the problem of freedom of speech in the developing countries to the editors:

Gulf News - letter2editor@gulfnews.com
Khaleej Times - kletter@emirates.net.ae
7 Days - letters@7days.ae
Emirates Today - letters@emiratestodayonline.com

To view the full post you can either click here or here.

To sign the petition that would be heading to Etisalat, please click here.

service? what service?


Some people think that it is their God-given right to ask to be served like a king just because they are a different nationality. Others consider - and humbly, so - the other people that provide service to them as humane as they are themselves.

Both points of view are valid, each in a different case.

The latter is fine until you get miserable service around the place where you're doing your purchases then you have the right to demand what is rightfully yours - but, as a customer, none other. The first case is where this kind of attitude is delivered and you ask for what you want and aren't being to get because someone is being a true assholeimic (it's a word I just made up) individual.

This happens when you ask the for the service the first time, the second time and the third until you can't stand it any longer. You just move in on offense.

This isn't about making a scene. This is about getting the service you're entitled to. Whether its Starbucks, or BankMuscat or even OmanTel through OIFC. It always pays to ask for a higher ranking individual when you don't get what you want and as long as you're right about what you're doing.

Unfortunately, this type of attitude does not run that much in this part of the world (i.e.: Arab world).

Sunday, July 15, 2007

wonders

Oh wonder of wonder
Of wonders do not cease
Of child, of a hunger
For bread, for a piece

Of life, of breath
Of cheer of a child
Of life, of care
Of tears to death in sight

Of rain, of gloom
Of clouds over our heads
Of humidity that sticks our clothes to our skins
And evaporates our thoughts in the thin air

Oh wonder of wonder
Of wonders that never cease
Of a child, of a hunger
Of a death, of disease

Of a smile on thy face
Of thy character
Of love lost
Of nature's love, in a grown child

is this for real?


Ever since the launch of the Playstation 3, I have been dying to get my hands on one of them. I was even there when they first launched the console here in Muscat at around 600+ Riyals with one game.

I was really burning up inside because I have heard of all the specs that are in the console and the fact that I had a Playstation 2 and couldn't swap it in for the next-generation console was eating me up.

But I had a surprise waiting for me when I walked into Sabco last night (Saturday) and found out that the price had come down dramatically to an astonishing 230 Omani Riyals. I could still get a deal of two games, an HDMI cable, an extra controller and a memory chip along with the console for 370 Riyals.

I guess if you wait long enough for things, you really do get what you aim for, huh?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

the red coats are coming


Well, they are..

What with the British moving ever so rapidly into the fame and fortune circle of the United States of America such as the ever famous Harry Potter; The Office; movies with Paul Bettany; and now Beckham moving permanently over to Los Angeles to play for the US Football team Galaxy taking along with him, his wife Victoria Beckham and their two sons.

Was there ever a doubt?

Probably not. Because the Americans might have won the Tea War way back in the history time-line but they had forgotten one thing, the have the same heritage and language. Even though a lot of you might argue on the point that the Americans are all immigrants so what heritage would I be talking about? The fact that the American society is a multi-cultural multi-ethnic society means it has a rich vary of cultures and ethnicities integrated into one.

But, besides all this. Does this mean that the British will finally end up one day taking over the United States of America through this loophole?

History has taught us that a Trojan horse can be built to infiltrate the enemy's army-line.

Perhaps history will repeat itself.

'Sex & Dubai' gets blocked by Etisalat


In an unusual term of circumstances, Etisalat - the UAE's only internet service provider has banned the regional blog of Sex & Dubai.

Although this blog does not contain offensive nor pornographic material, it has been sought out as 'an offense to national UAE culture' because it reports on several date scenes which could fictional and tells them from a woman's point of view.

It is not just the blog that is at danger here but there is also the matter of freedom of expression that is so scarcely allowed these days amongst third world developing countries, especially of the GCC region. So, in a matter, this decision not only has an impact on the said blog, but also affects bloggers of this region and worldwide.

To know more of the story, click here.

To sign a petition demanding that Etisalat unblocks the blog, click here.

Remember, this decision affects us all. So, if you're not doing it for yourself, do it for the others' right to free speech.

Friday, July 13, 2007

two weeks

I hate the summer.

I hate the fact that it gets scorching hot outside that you need a mobile air-conditioner just to survive - and you end up saying to yourself that you know how Michael Jackson feels like about his nose melting off. Poor guy.

I am a winter person even though I was born in the summer. I love the cold feeling of air that makes you feel so cold that you want to warm up and snuggle with something or someone. I love the feeling of having rain gushing down on you - except for times like what happened in Gonu.

I enjoy the beach although I don't go there on my own because if I do, I end up feeling lonely walking on my own - aw.

But the fact is that winter time, for some reason or another brings in a reason to contemplate more and warm fuzzy feeling, too. Makes me - most of the time - feel like I am loved.

But summer?

What does summer give you more than just high bills, reason to hate the world even more when you're sweating and throwing out the garbage in the street bin, and eating your nails when you're under a tremendous amount of stress?

Back in the old days when I was younger, I could go for a dip in the sea here at Shatti Qurum, or maybe just play the PDO beach or club facility. But those were the old days.

And here I am, anxious to find an answer to getting rid of the problem that would drop in on me in two weeks time: resuming the insurance course.

God, I hate my life.

NEXT


I don't know what to say about this movie. I could make it bad for you and ruin your experience rather than leave you to find out on your own or I could lie to you and tell you that I loved every part of it.

Nicholas Cage, Jessica Beil & Julianne Moore star in this fiction thriller called NEXT.

It's about a guy who can see 2 minutes into the future but only for himself until he meets this woman, then he can start to see a lot further. Julianne Moore is an FBI agent who works to bring in Cage's character to help her and the United States government retrieve some lost nuclear bomb that they don't know where it is unless Cage helps them find it.

Sounds interesting?

That's your call.
But don't blame me if you don't like it.

TimesofOman.com - online appearances


I've been told by the TimesofOman.com team that my articles will now only appear on the online edition of the newspaper of the first and fourth Monday of every month.

Beats me as to why.

But, I guess I have to go with the flow if I want to stay afloat (hey that rhymes).

Thursday, July 12, 2007

5 letter word...

to egg on




toast

something's gotta give

I've been thinking that the mood is probably set to write up my third and final poetry book. But it would be a collaboration between actual writing and poetry, and it would also come in the form of a story. A story, most probably based on a true event in my life.

This idea had come to me after I went through some of my latest poems and seen how the pattern is. And although there is no time frame for this project, I would my will to the test to busy my mind and get thinking about something positive in my life for a change.

The potential for us to aspire is within us, I suppose. It's just that, sometimes we lose our way and we need someone or something to bring us back on that path and keep steady our course.

I've given up on the fact that there is indeed someone who I would in my lifetime to help me get off my feet and feel a sense of confidence, mostly because of experience, no matter how small that is in the vast sea of possibilities.

I think, perhaps, that is the reason why I am so down lately; because I am unable to accomplish anything I set my mind at. Am I being punished. I'm told no, because God loves everyone and He would only test your patience by putting you in a predicament. But I ask myself a lot of the time, why can't I be successful, and happy, too? I long for settlement just as much as a baby girl wants a barbie doll since the age of 5 years old.

But I kid no one when it is the very reason why I am so unhappy and that I cannot achieve what I want in life. Even with folks saying stuff life 'you can do anything as long as you have your mind set on it'. But, alas, actions speak louder than words. And who better to see otherwise than time itself.

So why bother at all?

Why not just give up and give it all away?

Nothing in life is ever free. Sure. Ok.

But something's gotta give, right?

Right?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

what have they done, really?

Ok..

So, hats off to everyone who did a great amount of work that helped us overcome the calamities of the Gonu aftermath and what not. That being said, there is one matter I would like to understand.

What has Muscat Municipality really done to over this?

Apart from the obvious matter of clearing up the streets from the big dirt that lay on the ground, bringing in everyone together to set up the services back to normal (although the ROP, the military saw to that before they did).

But when Muscat Municipality said that all the roads in Muscat have been put to working order we really need to go deeper into that phrase: let's see..

You have the new Amerat road that was destroyed so what did Muscat Municipality do? They built one right next to it on the lower ground. Permanent, may I add. Al Ansab road was totally gone, they're rebuilding a new one until the other one is taken care of. Quriyat and Sur roads were damaged, still no word on them getting repaired or not.

The initial plan after Gonu was to give high priority to clearing up roads so that service vehicles can come in and do their job to get the services running all over again. That's not even finished but then you have the entire Municipality working on cleaning up VIP projects (of which, I cannot state here) because they were so needing of their services back on. While the public still waited for their fair share of what was coming to them, in case of anything.

Then finally - wait, let me laugh a bit here quitely on my own ... ok, done - you have a high-end panel that is looking into building protective damns, water sewage systems and bridges where needed after 36 years. Cool. But, guys - honestly - let's wait a few more decades. I mean, we don't need these now. Especially with winter coming up. It'll probably be as dry as this summer has been.

Numnuts.

PS: Did I happen to mention that most of the cleaning campaigns over Muscat and other Wilayats that were hit may have been organized by their regional and capital municipalities but were, in fact, carried out by none other than the local Omani citizens and residents.

no more

If you're sad - you're sad - so, you frown
You laugh - yes, you laugh - yet, you're called a clown

You have tears in your eyes
A sad feeling that deprives you of your sleep
A smile that lives no longer in the spark of your eyes
And you wonder, when you wake up; 'was it really a dream?'

You smile - yes, you smile - portraying the sadness in your eyes
You used to have that twinkle in your eyes
You used to glance and people's cheeks would become ripe
And all you'd need was a support hand to say they would be there, but now you're alone - inside

The little child that used to dance along to the tunes
He would dance to the beat and rock the room
Smiles no more, instead, there is gloom
He stays alone, in his corner, not knowing what is it he must do

A smile is a smile on the face to the cheek
A tear in the eyes, is how I feel - the silence I speak
Bare-bone body, white walls
The magic that used to be there, lives no more

info needed

I've been trying to search for both the Oman Journalists Association & Writers Guild Oman official websites or any info about registering with them and had no luck whatsoever.

Does anyone know what their the website addresses or contact numbers are?

I would greatly appreciate it..

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Gonu Relief Blog - Announcement

It's been ages since anyone's added something to the Gonu Relief Blog apart from a couple of posts from Amjad & Aamna. But that doesn't mean the blog is going to be shut down or anything.

I have left it open for others to contribute towards it; and that also includes anyone from Oman whose in the blogger arena and available to join.

I have also waived off my monopolization of the administrative position on the so-called blog and given it to all the contributers so that they can add whatever changes they think it may need or want.

I hope this will help it stay alive.

Cheers..

a flower is good for nothing


A flower is nice
In the past, it was
True, to the end
Loyal it was

A heart to learn to love
A joy when in pain
The imaginary person you talk to
When you were in vain

But the truth is
That a flower is good for nothing
Let it rot

No friends to be there for you
No loved ones to say to you
That - with them - you would never get lost

A flower is traitor
When it promises life
The lie it says
To keep whatever it is alive

But at the end
It withers away
And like the world we live in
Slowly fades away

Monday, July 09, 2007

pot it, you Potter


I hate all the Harry Potter movies, I swear to God, I do.

I mean, it's all about magic and everything. The first two movies was alright because they were a first but come on. They want to do six or seven movies out of it?

Who in the hell wants to sit through more than 2 hours of total crap about stuff that doesn't even exist - a load of shazam and kazam and what not.

And have you seen the books? Oh my God - the books.

They are thicker than the entire anthology of Shakespeare, that's what they are. Each and every one of them. And what's more annoying is that not only do young children find it facinating, because that's alright with me. But you have people my age and perhaps even older ones that go online booking the early bird edition of the newest book in the series.

I'd rather eat a day's old socks then read that crap.

Anyhow, for your Potter fans out there; Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix arrives in Muscat on July 18th, 2007.

Don't even think about inviting me there.

Where's Usama bin Laden when you need him? (very bad joke)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

how Gulf News took the law into its own hands

I am admirer of the Gulf News for its red-line reporting on issues that concern various stages of life and sections of the society. I respect them a lot, in fact.

But having seen their latest daredevil stunt against the entire UAE online community just because a few people who know nothing of what it is behind some technology such as Facebook and pouncing at the majority like a cat defending its first born kittens, it really is pathetic to see such things happen in a country that has the advanced technological infrastructure and supposedly also has the brains to compete with the Western minds, if not, outgrow them by a mile.

After busy phone calls of ill-educated people who called in to complain about the online service claiming that the online service provider was a place to exchange pornographic material in terms of photos. I wonder if these people even checked out these claims if they were true or not. And if it were true, wouldn't Etisalat or Du have the first say about it seeing that they are the only Internet service providers in the UAE?

And saying that this claim is true, and seeing how much the Gulf News tries to put some light on immoral issues that are happening in the country, shouldn't it be highlighting drinking issues in the UAE? And what about the matter of 'female workers by night' - what about them and their dominance in the UAE especially in Dubai in areas that authorities just look the other way at? And what about the other issues in the high society of the country's officials - not that I am saying there is - but what about them?

If the Gulf News is prepared to act as moral police then they should set up their official private force and stop everyone from going out and having fun and what not.

The fact of the matter here is that the Gulf News newspaper is just that - a written piece of media. In the subject of Facebook - what should have been done was that they highlight the complaints received by them by local citizens/residents and ask that the proper authorities - be that the TRA or Etisalat or Du look into the matter and decide upon then. The same applies to the other services such Flickr, and DevianArt.

God gave everyone a mind when they were born, He also set the rules, He asked that we follow the rules, He also gave us a choice to differentiate between what is right and wrong. Who are we to push people to make choices that they don't want to make themselves?

------------------

Links:

- Balqis In Wonderland: Did Gulfnews cross the line?

- Gulf News: Orkut.com 'being used for immoral activities'

all or nothing

After Gonu had passed it was time to reflect on why this ever happened to us, because I am a believer that everything - no matter how big nor small - happens for a reason be that reason visible or not.

I saw the devastation, I heard the rumors, I felt the anguish and the fear. I tasted bittersweet sadness through the tears of youngsters who had lost their homes, families and loved ones, but most of all those who had lost everything.

Then it came to the passing away of my relative not some 2-3 days after we had just risen above the ashes of the disaster and mayhem that Gonu had left in it's trails. It felt like a bomb striking me down again. Beating me deeper into a hole that I had barely the energy to creep out of again.

I started to notice how people treated me and treated others differently, how they differentiated in their manners towards them and me and saw that thin line that meant so much to me but couldn't tolerate it at all although I tried to encapsulate it as much as I could but in the end, it erupted from within lashing out at the very people that I am supposed to hear to, listen to, and adhere to.

I lost all sympathy then.

I lost my soul back then.

My heart just stopped beating because of the sheer sadness that is portrayed in this life by the illusions that I had lived in all this time and because of the truth that opened my eyes to the people that I should trust no more and call no more 'a friend' more than just mere relatives.

I drenched my heart in sorrow and followed on - blindly.

I told myself that I would carry on like this until one day - should God find that I am worthy of it - that He would save me from the pain that I live in day by day.

I then got myself a 'motivational speech' by someone I know (hope you're reading this) telling me that if I choose to be someone in life then nothing should ever stand in my way if I am serious about it. That I should let nobody change my mind about the career. That a true passion involves the heart, the soul, and the mind - working together towards that goal.

So I opened my eyes and peeked through the long-shut eye-lids into the ever bright sunlight that I had blocked out.

And I said to myself.

This would be my suicidal mission (to be a writer).

has anyone noticed this?

You've all seen the range of movies that have been coming down the streamline of Hollywood and the likes of it. But have you noticed how familiar and similar they all seem to be in their general ideas?

They all point towards how the world needs a hero.

Spiderman, The Fantastic Four, Batman Begins, Transformers, Live Free or Die Hard, The Painted Veil, TMNT, and a lot of other movies that if I had the time to list them here, it would take the entire length of the blog's page.

But, to concentrate more on the topic of heroism - is this really what the world needs? Or are the heroes around us, just too afraid to make a move and show themselves because of following consequences?

Whatever the reason is, the fact states that audiences worldwide are not only looking for an escape from all the drama of their lives but they are also looking for a savior and this is boldly recognized in the massive impact these super-hero flicks have had on them by turning them into blockbuster of wild and gigantic proportions making the likes of James Cameron eat his face inside out from envy.

are we in a competition to lose our environment?

Back in the old days when I first opened up this blog, I used to always think that economics was the sound solution to providing a healthy growing developing country. But I was only partially right.

I was so against what developments that Dubai was doing in terms of ever renovating the scenes that I am sure their GPS circuits were screwed from the day they started to function. None the less, that is their business and not ours.

After a while, I began to realize the environmental setbacks for such developmental projects in an environment that runs on scarce resources. Water, oil, power; all that leads to future planning of what is said to be the 'fuel of the future' such as gas and other types of limited extracted vegetable oil (i.e.: palm tree oil; corn oil) but even then, we haven't provided for ourselves the solution that would help us move along steadily into the future but without harming the environment as much as we are now.

Not one single person in the entire GCC has presented a solution - long term or short - for this upcoming epidemic. Apart from the mechanical and technology students in various universities who are trying to find the solution by harnessing the sun's rays to maneuver cell powered vehicles for races; that is all what we have come to see.

The GCC council is now turning to nuclear energy to be used in civic projects to power up future economies and their respective countries. All this is done even though with the dangers that come along with the actual set up of such projects and their doomed ill-consequences such as Chernobyl and a Japanese nuclear reactor that was secretly spilling whilst the former Japanese government kept it's lips sealed about the situation until it regained control.

Granted that the Omani economy needs a big boost to start developing its own funds to push its GDP higher instead of relying on oil-related products, no one has yet considered the outcomes of these high-end projects that will end up being established in our beloved country.

Forget about the natural habitats for one second and consider the following: as it is we are scarce on water resources as it is, and oil production is gradually decreasing year by year plus the fact that it is expensive to keep those water desalination plants running and maintained by every year - money that we are running out of. Now the projects that are coming up gradually and will probably all finish by the year 2020 or perhaps before require all these to be in a steady position to pump them with the necessary resources. So will there be enough water, gas, oil, power to run all these projects by that time?

Or are we all in the entire GCC in a bid against who ends up screwing their environment first?

TimesofOman.com update

It seems that even the folks at the TimesofOman.com offices had been smudged up to their ears with overloaded work that they had to take care of business until they could take care of other business (does that even make sense?)

So, what this means is that the new articles that were supposed to be printed since the beginning of July, 2007 will now be pushed to next week - 16/7/2007.

So by that time, you should all expect the new articles from me as I take my break also from writing any articles from now until then.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

the day the blind man's heart stopped beating

I told him to hold on
I told him to breath
I told him to carry on
Not to leave

His pulse was weakening
His heart beating slow
I'm just not ready
To accept another loss

Under the dark side
I could see the light
I saw the shimmering
A world of delight

It was so far away
I could hear them sing hymns
My eyes pulped tears
I could not cry nor whim

I am the blind man
That has no heart
The spirit that has been taken away
Was taken away from me and broken apart

Of a child laughing
Dancing in the rain
Of a daughter in the living room
Playing doll games

Of the Autumn leaves
That fall to the ground
Of cry, a tear, I within
I shed with no sound

Of the fortress I hold
Around me
Of the walls I barricade
To stop the feeling that pains me

I am no one
But a blind man
A man with no heart
Someone, the world would never come to understand

Oman Community Blog: official launch

D-day.

The Oman Community Blog is now moving full speed ahead with 20 Omani bloggers and an extra 9 on the way to accepting their invitations. Lots more where they came from, I can tell you.

The purpose of this blog (i.e.: Oman Community Blog) is to bring together all the Omani bloggers, all those who have resided in Oman in the past but no longer live here or those who still do and are interested in sharing their point of view over various aspects of the Omani environment they have/are living/lived in.

Comments are welcome from anyone who wants to share their view of what is being posted on the blog just as long as they keep it in a nice, responsible manner.

This isn't exactly how everything will stay to be for how long the blog stays up in the online world, but there would be very definite appropriate advancements along the way.

Check it out.

Leave a comment.

Send us an email.

Or just browse.

The Oman Community Blog is now official.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Matrix 4: The Matrix Re-Entered





You've got to see this impressive video to believe it.

the will

I think I have finally lost the will to ever write again..

the wake up call

I am so fed up with having to shout out against the development strategy that is happening here in Oman. With the the complete and utter disregard to the local Omani environment and natural habitat.

I decried against the enormous amount of unethical quick job that was done to applied the road system here in Oman without a major restructure of a proper sewage system; but Gonu happened and lo and behold: we are drenched in water up to our heads everywhere.

The houses that were allowed to build in flood zones got a taste of it after the unusual large rainy downpour that we had during the storm coinciding with strong winds. So what happens? Houses newly built were destroyed by the floods, wadis, and people died - even though the government would not admit to it.

Money can only get us to where we want if we plan out carefully and take all matters into consideration, even the very remote possibilities - after all, it is better to safe than sorry; is it not?

But has this stopped anyone from going on with the big projects here in Oman? The Wave still carries on it's building, even though it is now on hold because all the construction vehicles are being used to help out with the damaged property and streets all over Muscat. It's on the sea. If a Tsunami came into the Omani shores - God forbid - are we still going to have time to rebuild everything that was destroyed in such a matter of occurrence?

Other projects are being given the go ahead despite being a flood zone and the authorities are saying that there is nothing to worry about this time because instead of having low height service roads, they will be transformed into bridges in three months time. Despite that reassurance, the Qurum wadi that flooded the entire Qurum commercial area was about more than 5 meters high up to par to the parallel roads and it still destroyed everything.

Granted, this type of a natural disaster could only happen once in a blue moon, but let's face it: We are now on the verge of global warming and that alone is causing everything around us of changing weather patterns and it is still more to happen along the timeline of life.

Remember back when that Tsunami hit the entire Eastern hemisphere of globe? It was said back then, that the earthquacke that caused the Tsunami in the sea, was a 10 pointer on a Richter scale and that at that same time, the North and South poles had shifted clockwise by a certain degree and it is imminent that this shift would keep on going until the year 2050 changing Oman's climate from a semi-tropical country to having weather of that a European country.

One can never be prepared for nature's anguish. But it seems inevitable that we should be in it's path in the new few decades. For some reason, it is getting back at us. Perhaps because we have neglected it too much.

Isn't it about to have that wake up call?